Government Should Extend The Tax Holiday For The Next 5 Years – Pradip Advani, VP – Solution And Relationship Management, Mahindra Satyam BPO

In continuation to our interview series of business leaders across the globe , we talked to Mr. Pradip Advani who is currently working with ,Mahindra Satyam BPO as VP – Solution and Relationship Management . Below are the excerpts :

TPI has predicted that this year “Full-year TCV could fall below $80 billion, which has not happened since 2001,” what are your views on the same?

In my opinion, while this may be true given the overall budget cuts that most companies are likely to work with, it also presents opportunities of a different kind. For the past 6 – 12 months, there are been many acquisitions of strategic nature across many industries which will eventually lead to vendor consolidation and contract re – negotiations as they work through the integration process. Carve outs deals are also gaining some momentum in the market which coupled with the above brings in more TCV for top tier companies to bid for.

How much do you agree with Guy Kirkwood’s prediction that “KPO is going to be huge and LPO will lead the way” and why?

I partially agree with this statement. KPO is already happening in a big way – both in the captives and third party BPO / KPO companies. Besides this, traditional market research companies are themselves setting up offshore centers to tap the domestic and international markets at affordable costs. LPO on the other hand is still emerging with not many players in India specialising in this area. The current work that most companies do is low to medium end with very few focusing on the end to end. I believe the market is there but the maturity in tapping the same for an offshore location like India is some distance away.

Do you think new clients would use Multisourcing as an integral part of their strategy in the times to come?

Multi sourcing is here to stay. Customers of today have shifted focus from cost to quality to Business Continuity which is the mantra most companies evaluate their partners on. Many global customers with a large and diversified customer base and work that is done real time need to plan for multiple partners to meet their strategy objectives.

What more can the Indian Govt. do to make the business environment favorable especially for the outsourcing sector?

1. Extend the tax holiday for the next 5 years
2. Reduction in excise and custom duty on hardware that is imported by these companies
3. Develop Tier 2 / 3 cities to reduce the burden on Infrastructure and resources in metros and tier 1 cities. This has to be a medium term objective.
4. Make commuting a lot more accessible – encourage metros and public transport to name a few. It will drastically cut the cost of transportation for many companies which are a recurring expense.

Your views on the post recession scenario? How can companies be better prepared to leverage the maximum benefit?

I think going forward, two things will determine the future of BPO besides the traditional RFP bidding process. One is Consultative selling and the other is deal carve outs. Organizations that can step up to these levels of engagement will certainly gain an advantage over their competition. Another point that I personally feel very strongly about is around employee / talent retention especially those who are working on industry native solutions. Customers going forward will look for depth of talent and experience in any organisation before award of new contracts.

Cost containment could be the key these days however do you see a shift towards quality consciousness in the times to come?

Given the fear of a global meltdown (for the past 9 months) and loss of business due to recessionary times for many of our customers, cost today has taken a whole lot new meaning. Many companies are finding innovative ways to maintain if not reduce their fixed and variable costs to stay competitive. I feel this focus will continue for the next 3 – 5 years till the momentum shifts for the better. However, the only thing that keeps a customer with you despite the challenges that they may be going through at their end is your commitment to quality. This does come at a price but no offshore player in my opinion is willing to compromise it even if it means a dent on one’s margins or a loss of potential revenue. One of the key objectives of outsourcing is service improvement and if the same is not attended to from day 1, one may not have too much to hope for in the future. Hence while cost is important, quality is paramount to business success especially in the kind of industry we serve.

Is this a good time to make a career move for the senior level executives keeping the post recession scenario in mind?

I think it is a good time for senior execs to make such a move. However, the consideration should now be for a role which is backed by a good brand and that has some strategic and long term objectives for the individual.

Tell us something about the infamous “Satyam spirit” -The solidarity shown by the Satyam employees during the crisis.

Satyam is fortunate to have such committed and talented group of associates working for the company. One of the core values of Satyam is Entrepreneurship which was aptly demonstrated post the shocking news that hit in early Jan. While the media was eagerly searching for information on anything to do with the company, the associates were ensuring there was adequate focus on quality for its customers, comfort for their peers and support for the seniors who were busy weathering the storm. There were many examples of associates working beyond the call of duty which won many an accolade from the customers.

About Pradip Advani:

Mr. Pradip Advani, VP – Solution and Relationship Management,Mahindra Satyam BPO, has over fourteen years of work experience including more than ten years in the BPO space. Handled Sales, Migration and Operations in the accounting, voice, transaction-processing and specialty services areas. Currently, responsible for Business Generation and Client Relationship besides transitioning of processes along with Service Delivery as a Business Leader. Varied exposure of industries for USA / UK based clients.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this interview by Mr. Advani are in his individual capacity and do not reflect the views or official policy/position of his employer.